Showtime and Paramount+ merge under one app


In the modern streaming age, Showtime and Paramount+ are struggling to garner the buzz and attention of giants like Netflix, Disney+, and HBO Max. Now their parent company, Paramount Global, has decided to combine their strengths by bundling Showtime and Paramount+ into one app, with a discount for new subscribers. Until October 1st, you can use both services with either limited ads for $7.99 per month or ad-free for $12.99 per month. (On October 1st, prices return to $11.99 with ads, without $14.99.)

Streaming services have reached a major inflection point of late, with Netflix’s problems with subscriber growth signaling that viewers’ appetites (and budgets) aren’t limitless. As Netflix gears up for a lower-priced, ad-supported tier, Showtime/Paramount+ is following the parallel trend of consolidation. HBO Max and Discovery+ will merge into one service next summer. There was also industry speculation, covered by Puck, that Disney’s Bob Chapek wanted to merge Disney+ and Hulu to expand Hulu’s already colossal user base. (Disney owns ABC, a majority partner of Hulu. Meanwhile, its other partner, Comcast, makes its NBC programming available on its own streaming platform, Peacock.)

“Additional consolidation in the filmed entertainment and television industries is being driven largely by streaming service providers’ need for larger catalogs of content to meet insatiable consumer demand for hit content,” said Mike Chapman, partner and media director for America at Kearney, versus

Even before streaming, Showtime was struggling to break out of the shadow of its flashier rival HBO, which dominated awards and buzz. Meanwhile, CBS All Access’s shaky, confusing rebranding to Paramount+ has made it harder to gain traction. But the two services have rolled out some attention-grabbing programs, and uniting them in one app could draw more exposure — and subscribers. Showtime garnered a following for last year’s Covid hit, yellow jackets; Flatbush offense is a sharp comedy that demands a larger audience; billion is still going strong after six seasons; and later this month the network unveiled American gigolo starring Jon Bernthal, a reimagining of Richard Gere’s 1980 film. (gigolo was developed by David Hollander, showrunner of Showtime’s all-time hit Dad. Ray Donovan.)

Meanwhile, Paramount+ is home to several star trek spin-offs (Discovery, Picard, Strange New Worlds, Lower Decks), RuPaul’s Drag Race All Starsand The homecoming in the real world Reunion miniseries. (Attention MTV nostalgics: Paramount+ is the exclusive home of many classic cable hits, including all the originals real world seasons as well donkey.) Together, these two services really do offer something for everyone (but especially for dads).


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